This is a really good modification you can do in just a few minutes and it only costs less than a dollar! By removing the gasket at the rear of the engine bay and shimming the hood with 3 or 4 washers, it creates an escape route about 1" tall on the sides and almost 2" tall in the middle. This doesn't cause your hood to be higher than the fender either. You won't notice it at all. It lets out a large amount of heat generated by the engine which is definitely something the car can do without but unfortunately has an abundance of.
Click HERE for some other tips for keeping your engine cool as a cucumber!
1. At the rear of the engine bay, there is a black rubber gasket that follows along the firewall just under the windshield wipers. It is attached with plastic tabs. Pull the gasket up at each tab and remove it from the engine bay.
2. Next, unbolt the hinge where it bolts to the hood. There are two 10mm bolts on each side. You may need to get someone to help you hold the hood although it can be done by only one person. Now put the bolts back on one at a time with 3 or 4 washers between the hinge and the hood. Do the same for the other side and your done!
After I did this to my car I noticed that when I opened the hood after driving (which I usually do at home to let out heat) there didn't seem to be as overwhelming of a heat wave as usual. It's a great mod that has to be beneficial.
Here are a few modifications that I have done that keeps my car running very cool. There is no more overwhelming heat waves that come up out of the engine bay when I open the hood anymore. In fact, it seems unusually cooler than most cars! That is definitely unusual for Mk3s. My temps rarely get over 180 degrees even in summer. I do use a thermostat to keep the car at a minimum of 160 degrees Fahrenheit so that it don't stay in open loop, which runs a set fuel map that is very rich and will cause fuel economy to suffer greatly.
In the summer, I always use a mixture of 25% antifreeze and 75% water along with Red Line water wetter. Water wetter is an additive that increases the coolants ability to dissipate heat and is also an excellent protector that will allow you to safely run only 25% or less antifreeze (summer only).
REMOVE THE CATS
The single most effective thing I have done on my Mk3 had been to get rid of the converter just under the turbo. It made a GIANT difference in the underhood temperatures as well as a huge difference around my feet inside the car.
ELECTRIC AC FANS
As an alternative to an aftermarket electric fan upgrade I have taken another air conditioner cooling fan and added it just under the one I already had (only on the 87, the 91 already has two). Now, with a modified mount and fan shroud, I have two of those fans that run along with the clutch fan all the time (I wired them to an ignition source). I will not post pictures of this modification as it is far better to just get the electric fan upgrade because it eliminates the power robbing clutch fan and is much much more effective. This is just something I did because I didn't have the money for the new electric setup at the time.
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